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      It’s that time of year. Coworkers are out sick, kids are missing school, and friends are posting on social media about all the nasty stomach bugs going around. In addition to over-the-counter solutions, many of you may be turning to all-natural remedies, including essential oils. But what would they have used in the 18th century?...Read More »
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      Benjamin Franklin had only a passing acquaintance with Williamsburg, which he visited twice. But he belongs to all Americans, an icon of the nation’s most optimistic sense of itself: rising from humble origins to ever-greater heights through ingenuity and force of will, while maintaining a generous spirit. This excerpt from Why the Turkey Didn’t Fly explores […]
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      A foot of snow fell on Williamsburg Saturday, the largest one-day accumulation since the record was set in 1980. While the kids rejoiced over school’s cancellation and neighbors started to dig out their driveways, I dipped into the archives to see how recent experience compared to 18th-century Virginia winters. From what I discovered it appears heavy...Read […]
    • Not Even a Blizzard Could Keep Us from Getting Married!
      My name is Haley Morton Haines, and I’m a third year law student at the College of William & Mary Law School. My husband is Matthew Haines, and he is a sergeant in the Marine Corps. On Saturday, January 7, we got married… in the snow… in front of the Governor’s Palace! We planned to...Read More »
    • Photo Essay: A Foot of Snow Transforms the Historic Area into a Winter Wonderland!
      We knew early last week a winter storm was coming our way. And on Friday, a blizzard warning went up for southside Virginia. It extended onto the Peninsula, getting as close to us as Hampton. But local meteorologists still weren’t saying too much about Williamsburg. Yet. A little after midnight, the first flurries started to...Read More »
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Glorious Christmas Nights Richmond VA Christmas Play

It’s a bit of a drive from Hampton Roads or Williamsburg VA but well worth the trip. The annual Christmas productions put on by the West End Assembly of God  “Glorious Christmas Nights.” This year’s production is an exception; it is a repeat of a previous work done in 2003, brought back by popular demand. Last year over 25,000 tickets were sold.

I just checked the website http://www.gloriouschristmasnights.com/ and there are still tickets available bit they seem to be selling out very quickly.

Thank you to Lowell Qualls and his informative blog posting  http://lowellequalls.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/check-out-glorious-christmas-nights/

Four-hundred actors, stage hands, musicians and dancers combine their talents to pull off a holiday show that gets you “in the mood” for Christmas.  Take a look at the clip below (from 2005 – this happens to be my favorite show) to get a feel for the quality and scope of the production.

Bob Laughlin is the producer (the Music & Fine Arts pastor), Ron Klipp is the show’s musical composer, and Kathy Craddock is the director and primary writer.  When you combine Laughlin’s genius, Craddock’s imagination and Klipp’s original scores … well, let me put it to you this way:  if you’re lucky enough to get tickets … you will have a blast, and your heart will be touched.  It’s a Broadway quality show with a message that will stir you.  Taking children just adds to the experience.

This year’s story is about two bumbling angels – Ted and Randall – who are given an assignment:  to make sure the Wise Men make it to the stable so they can bring their gifts to Jesus.  They’re told by their boss – the archangel Michael – that they can locate the Wise Men at Herod’s palace during the reign of Caesar Augustus.  When they type the coordinates and data into their heavenly GPS (”HALO”) they get it all wrong.  Instead of Herod’s palace they wind up at Harrod’s Department Store in 1903 London.  There they pick up two kids – Patch and Runt – and the screwy angels take them to Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas before finally winding up in Bethlehem.

While the script isn’t biblically accurate (the Wise Men didn’t show up at the stable on the night Jesus was born, but about two years later), it reflects what has become “the Christmas story” told in most churches at this time of year.

Like I mentioned before, the clip below comes from another great Craddock/Laughlin story.  Santa decides to fore go delivering packages on Christmas Eve one year because he’s had it with selfish, demanding kids and their materialistic parents.  That all changes when he receives a letter from a young boy who “gets it.”  (Complicating matters … Mrs. Claus believes Santa’s in a funk because she’s not as young and beautiful as she once was.)  There are villains and drama and comedy galore … and the awesome Youth choir brings the house down during their number at every show.

Tickets for the shows (there’s 16 of them over two weeks) are usually hard to come by not long after the box office opens on-line and at the church.  However … if you try really hard, and you don’t mind if your entire family can’t sit together, tickets can be had.  (All proceeds go to the Mission Fund at WEAG … www.weag.org.)

Here are a few videos of past years performances.